Best Time to Job Search

by Wheatman, Debra Wednesday, December 07, 2011
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I had a friend who was always starting a new exercise program, right after the (fill in the blank) holiday, right after the (fill in the blank) party, or when the weather gets (select: cooler, warmer). Alright, that friend could be me. The point is that if you analyze it, there is always very compelling rationale to delay what we know is best for us. The same applies to your job search. There is often a good reason to delay your search based on times when hiring activity is historically sluggish or perhaps it is a time when you are just too busy. I am here to tell you the best time to launch your job search campaign is NOW!

Resources, such as CNN.com and Money.CNN.com, identify definite peaks and valleys in hiring activity. It varies a bit based on industry, but it is commonly understood that January through March is a busy time. Also, from Labor Day until mid-November is a second peak in hiring activity. From Thanksgiving and through the first week of January, interviewing and decision-making slows to a crawl.

So, should you take a break in your job search during the slow periods? Actually, there are practical reasons why you should get started now.


1.Inertia is detrimental to your career success. Get started now. Inactivity is not only unproductive, it tends to change your frame of mind so you are not open to the possibilities that surround you.
2.It takes a bit of time to prepare for the search. Pre-search activities such as defining your goal, writing your résumé, updating your online presence (such as LinkedIn.com), and gathering references may take as long as two weeks.
3.During slow times, you have less competition. Maybe you are one in a sea of 50 instead of one in a sea of 500.
4.Even during slow times, people relocate and retire. Some of the resources that I reviewed online mentioned that some employees hang onto a job until they qualify for their year-end or holiday bonus.
5.During the summer and holiday season, we are more socially-active. We see friends and family. What an ideal time to mention that you are on the hunt for a new job. Personal networking is the number one way to find a new job.

So, the season is no reason to delay your search for a new job!